Authentic upcycle design should be made out of used or discarded objects/material. Having said that I’m also aware that sometimes amazing design is made by giving an object a different and new function. In a way that’s also upcycling, but not with due consideration of the environment. And that’s something that I think upcycle design should be all about: showing what can be done with waste or old stuff that we want to throw away.
But what about a design made out of a new product showing a different function? Well sometimes I come across a design like that and I must admit it’s comes close to upcycle design. That’s because it shows what you could do with an object like that if it was old or discarded. Just look at the incredible Porca miseria! by Ingo Maurer, featured on upcycleDZINE a few weeks ago. The designer uses new porcelain cups and plates, but shows what one could create using old porcelain. So the message is a positive one.
Ladder turns into museum piece
And today I’m showing you another design made out of a new object. And it surely makes you think about the different possibilities to use the object. I’m talking about a stunning chandelier called ‘Downstairs‘ designed by Studio Bertjan Pot, founded by Dutch designer Bertjan Pot and based in Rotterdam | the Netherlands.
Downstairs is the second version of a design with the same concept. The first version is called ‘Stairway to heaven‘. This was a special project for a theater cafe not far from the studio.
Studio Bertjan Pot:
“It is certainly not your average chandelier. Where normally the eye is seduced by lots of shiny metal and flickering crystals, your jaw might now drop by seeing this light-piece and realizing that you are looking at a safety-ladder with carnival lights!”
The chandelier won the 1st Frame-Moooi Award (2012) and became a real product in the collection of DHPH. Downstairs comes in 3 sizes: 4 steps, 6 steps and 8 steps. All models can be made with light bulbs or energy saving LED lights. Dutch Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen | Rotterdam, took the 8 step into their permanent collection.
Photos & video © Studio Bertjan Pot
Studio Bertjan Pot usually starts the design process out of a genuine curiosity for how things would function or how something would look. And when I look at Downstairs it shows that looking at an object in a different way can result in quite extraordinary, and let’s not forget, fun [upcycle] design.
Design By Studio Bertjan Pot | Produced by DHPH